The reasons behind the rankings
Blog post by Christine Ross
Christine Ross, the president and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, has 20 years of leadership experience in the business community. She is a visionary coalition builder guiding the Maryland Chamber’s efforts to improve competitiveness, attract and retain talent, grow jobs, engage the community and provide legislative advocacy.
Choosing a college is one of the toughest decisions a high schooler has to make.
Fortunately, each fall the U.S. News & World Report publishes numerical rankings to help students narrow that search. While these lists are an insightful tool for those trying to decipher which choice is right for them, it’s also an exciting accolade for the schools that are recognized.
Our members, Loyola University of Maryland, Towson University and Stevenson University were recently mentioned amongst the Best Regional Universities of the North, and have also been ranked as Best Value Schools.
I want to reveal a few of the reasons behind these well-deserved rankings at the institutions that are shaping the future of our workforce—for the better.
In tune with the growing demand for highly skilled workers and retention in the state, new courses focused on computer science and cyber gave some institutions an edge in the rankings.
Launch of the first data science major for undergraduates in the state
- As of this fall, Loyola University of Maryland students have the opportunity to pursue data science through a bachelor’s in science. This newly developed major is an interdisciplinary program, the first of its kind in Maryland, which consists of 15 courses across various departments. It includes mathematics, statistics, business, and computer science.
Launch of a new Bachelor of Science degree in cybersecurity and digital forensics
- Given our proximity to the federal government, there is a critical need in Maryland for cybersecurity and digital forensics professionals who can confront the increase of cyber-attacks and hacking incidents. Along with arming students with minors that have a directly applicable focus, like software design and coding, students at Stevenson University can now be part of the solution to this growing industry’s future. This new degree focuses on the “prevention, detection, and mitigation of cyber-attacks by providing students with the ability to gather digital evidence and conduct electronic crime investigations.” Combined with Stevenson’s current strategy to complete an internship before graduation, these students will be well-equipped to transition into the cyber field.
Renovations and expansions
We all know the value of the space in which one learns. Modern, state-of-the-art facilities can enhance students’ ability to innovate and grow. See the renovations and expansions that put these schools at the top of the list.
New science complex under construction, opening fall 2020
- According to our members at Towson University, enrollment in the Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science & Mathematics has seen a 132 percent increase from 1997 to 2017. To meet the needs associated with this growth, infrastructure improvements are necessary to support modern teaching and research. Come fall 2020, students will have access to 50 teaching laboratories, 30 research laboratories, 50 classrooms, 10 collaborative spaces, eight lecture halls and an outdoor classroom.
Renovation to improve the Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning
- A $2 million anonymous gift will fund the renovation of Beatty Hall on Loyola University of Maryland’s campus, an academic building that will be restructured to serve as a collaborative space for academic programs, an interactive creative space for design-thinking and a brand new Career Center. The hope is that this newly defined space will inspire an entrepreneurial spirit in students and facilitate creativity.
Various enhancements to benefit campus culture
- A 94,000 square foot, state-of-the-art fitness facility was added to Towson University’s campus recreation center, which reopened in January 2018. The center is complete with brand new cardio equipment, free weights and strength training machines, a sprint hill, outdoor adventure center, and more. It’s the perfect place for students to de-stress. Not to mention, it’s one of the most comprehensive recreation centers in Maryland!
- Stevenson University’s campus also has new facilities aimed at improving the quality of student life. These additions include a free-to-use studio for group exercise, a reading room, an on-campus coffee house, and an information desk.
Curious to see how well your school ranked? Check out U.S. News & World Report’s College Rankings and Lists.